Internet Security Software Ratings

Most internet security software ratings and reviews you’ll find online are written by customers. And a few others are written by comparison sites that highlight the features and tools.

These ratings and reviews play an important part in helping you find the right internet security software. And that’s because they’re based on customer experience; meaning you’re likely to get the same level of protection when you use one of these security programs.

However, there’s an even better way to finding the best internet security programs. And that’s by reading ratings from experts who actually test these security programs. They carry out independent comparative tests of internet security and antivirus software programs. And they’re widely recognised in the industry and are officially known as Test Labs.

There are about 5 reputable test labs and they are ICSA, West Coast Labs, Virus Bulletin, AV-Comparatives and AV-Test. And this is how these expert testers rate the following security programs:

BitDefender

BitDefender has been tested by Virus Bulletin and has been awarded a VB100% rating. This is the highest award they give and shows that it managed to detect 100% of ‘viruses in the wild’, without causing any false alarms. And this is one of the reasons BitDefender is considered one of the best internet security software programs.

Another expert rating agency that has tested and certified BitDefender is AV-Test. It’s a Germany-based test lab which shows that BitDefender is the best at protecting against malware (malicious software).

BitDefender has also been certified by ICSA, an independent organisation that has set criteria for certifying firewalls. And BitDefender is one of the few programs that has been approved by ICSA and received certification.

Kaspersky

Kaspersky is another leading internet security program that has been tested and certified by the leading test labs. It has received the VB100% rating for effective malware protection from viruses and other threats. And because of this, it has more than 120 companies licensed to use its antivirus solution in their products.

Other ratings from expert testers also show that it is one of the most effective at protection from all kinds of malware threats. It has received a positive rating for its anti-spyware solution. It shows that Kaspersky submitted its software for testing and passed the ICSA certification.

Not all internet security software programs submit their software for testing; and some that do actually fail the test. Its antivirus software also passed the test and received a high positive rating.

Webroot

Webroot Internet Security has recently joined the list of leading security programs. And this is reflected in the positive ratings it has received from expert reviewers. Its antispyware program is the number one rated spyware removal program. And it successfully prevents spyware, parasites, data miners, adware and other programs from changing your PC configuration.

Its antivirus software has received the VB100% rating from Virus Bulletin. And this shows that it caught all viruses through on-demand and on-access scanning. But no test results appear for Webroot on the West Coast Labs site, although its standalone Webroot Antivirus and Spy Sweeper did receive the certification; and it’s a major part of the internet security suite.

Summary

The advantage in reading expert ratings above other ratings and reviews is that you get an unbiased assessment of the software. And this will be specific information on how the internet security software dealt with malware threats.

Cyber Insecurity vs Internet Security

Pandora’s box has been opened and the explosion of information both personal and non-personal seems to be limitless and increases exponentially. And according to the National Opinion Poll taken in January of 2007 half the UK harbors a “deep mistrust” due to security concerns. Not only is there a deep public mistrust but, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology are inquiring into the need for personal Internet Security because of the growing use of home computers, expansion of broadband, internet banking and commerce (Brent MacLean “A new look at Internet Security” Monday September 10, 2007).

Every one is talking extensively ( ISP Associations, Richard Clayton of the Cambridge Security Lab, John Carr of the Children’s Charities Coalition on Internet Safety, as well as Johnathan Zittrain of the Oxford Internet Institute and many others), gathering evidence of information and compiling it all for what? Sadly, most businesses and citizens still do not take the threat posed by cyber-insecurity seriously.

You would think with dependency of economies relying on certain infrastructures involving the Internet and information exchange between key service providers, that a disruption would certainly result in loss of lives, loss of property, and the collapse of public confidence globablly. Today simple domestic hacking is not the issue that will bring on devastating destruction like those designed by terrorist activities directed at nuclear plants, banking systems, hospitals, air traffic control as well as domain name servers, the possibilities are limitless. However, it is imperative to remove these personal and public computers from the arsenal of cyber terrorists as well as cybercriminals. With 225 million Internet users in North America (Nielson-Netratings), the personal computer dominates the Internet and at the same time is the most vulnerable. Millions of PCs are under the control of “zombie masters”. Red Herring, the technical business journal, estimated that in 2005 a 172,000 computers were hijacked and taken over each day and became “zombies” and under the control of a hacker. By 2007, Secure Computing, which tracks the Internet landscape, identified more than 500,000 new zombies per day that were hijacked and under the control of “bot” herders. Triple the level only two years earlier. The FBI says that because of their wideley distributed capabilities, botnets are a growing threat to national security, the national information infrastructure, and the economy.

The total number of compromised computers on the Internet is not known; however, Vince Cerf, Father of the Internet, estimates that about 150 million PCs currently connected to the Internet and are part of botnets. Based on FBI reports and other independent researchers the aforementioned number may be significantly higher. The typical home computer is attached to “always on” broadband facilities, severely compromised with malware (viruses, spyware, Trojans, keyloggers, etc.), usually without degradation of their ordinary capabilities and doing the bidding of their “zombie master”. Hacking, virus dissemination, denial od service (DoS), theft of personal data, ID fraud, keyloggers, spamming, distribution of pornography, spying through webcams, click fraud and many other cyber exploits are all now almost wholly orchestrated via zombie networks.

Computers weren’t designed for security; they were designed to perform complex work. As complex as computers are, each computer has 65,000 open ports (doorways) to the Internet; a simple element that leaves them vulnerable. You might wonder why an individual would want control of a herd of zombies, there are several reasons. For exploits whether it’s a denial of service, to bring down the servers of banks, major corporations, or a competitor. Inherently, whenever a computer says “hello” to another computer, that computer must respond with a “hello” back. A “bot herder” with tens of thousands of computers under their control has all of them say hello at the same time to your computer or a network of computers, what do think happens. Most likely the responding PC or server is overwhelmed and crashes, it simply can’t respond to that many hellos. A botnet can be purchased on the black market to carry out attacks. Zombie-making virus kits can be purchased on the net, requiring little or no technical knowledge and which provides the breeding ground for future international cybercriminals and the training ground for cybergangs (terrorists).

What are we to do? Implementing new laws when it’s already difficult to pursue and in some cases unenforceable and with cross-border criminal investigations not to mention the resources needed are vast and costly with little results.

How do we secure the Internet now? One idea is to improve administrative, regulatory, and technical solutions to produce a safer Net and then apply resources to fortify banks, airports, power plants from the insecure internet we have allowed to develop. It begins with securing the end-user and creating an awareness that we are all responsible for the safety of the Internet and we all need to “Become Responsible Cybercitizens”.

We the people have to make an effort to make sure our machines run clean and free of malware (viruses, spyware, trojans, etc.). That involves current patches, updates, upgrades, and professional software technologies. It also obligates everyone of us to make sure that we have not been compromised by having our computers serviced by a security technician and assured that there is no malware present. There is a service, the Invisus PC security service, that will provide a fully managed computer security service including unlimited security technical support plus several additional benefits that will earn you the title of a “Responsible Cybercitizen”.

Requiring ISPs to scan data traffic going to and from computers attached to their networks for unusual patterns of traffic and then deny them Internet access until it has been determined they are not zombies. We can also ask the ISP to provide remote patches, updates and software updates. However, the ISPs will bulk at the cost, liability, autonomy, support, and delivery. Or have our ISPs provide a value-added service similar to subscription-based services offered by the Invisus PC security service which not only provides for a hassle-free computing experience but, is a total security package locking down the end-users computer for a minimum monthly fee.

In order to succeed we must meld security and convenience. The consumer doesn’t want to be responsible for their security. All they want to know is how to turn their computer on and off. Unfortunately, we can’t have our cake and eat it too. The time has come to learn how to maintain a safe and healthy computer (saving the consumer both time and money) void of infections that keep spreading and infecting other computers. It’s not necessary to be technically savvy to operate a computer, like your automobile there’s no need to be a technically savvy mechanic but, it is important to make sure your car is in good operating condition not only for its performance but, for the safety of others. We have laws to assure us the security of cars and their owners are safe. Those who are ignorant of how to maintain the safety of an automobile are required to perform certain responsibilities to insure the safety of their vehicle for others as well as the owner of the car. To insure the safety of others we require a certain level of education and knowledge of the rules of the road. You can’t drive without insurance or a drivers license, which means that you have undertaken and understand some level of instructions.

You may disagree but, unfortunately as impossible as it may be practically, politically, and ethically, to require every consumer… including the ignorant, the poor, and even the wealthy, to be legally responsible for keeping their computer in a state of reasonable security, the fact is you are guilty until proven innocent. So, the next best approach might be to offer to try and educate them but we probably cannot impose a “computer-driving license”. Again, we may be able to offer an alternative by requiring the consumer to take necessary steps to assure that their computers are serviced and up-to-date with professional security software and that they are checked and given a clean bill of health; free of malware.

Understanding IT Security and How to Get Hired for Jobs

When people hear of information security, they think about Wikileaks, internet worms, cyber bot attacks and anything else that you can think of that endangers sensitive information. You also think about information security specialists who prevent such kind of troubles with their firewalls, encryption systems and impenetrable security policies. Think its easy preventing sensitive information from leaking out into the world? Think again.

Information security is defined as a means of protecting information and information systems from being accessed without the proper authorization, unauthorized use, destruction and disruption. This is constantly interchanged with words like computer security and information assurance. Information security is something that is prioritized by today’s largest corporations and institutions, particularly those who handle a large volume of sensitive information.

Protected information can be about a lot of things – it can be about a company’s employees, customers, research information, medical history or concerned with product and operational information. Since this information is processed and transmitted on a daily basis, it is essential that they don’t fall into the wrong hands to be used toward undesirable means. Information that falls into the wrong hands can lead to business losses, lawsuits, identity theft and bankruptcy.

The great thing about information security is that it has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, so much so that countless opportunities have risen for those who want to make a career out of it. The jobs available for hiring these days include network security, application and database security, security administrator, IT Security Infrastructure Specialist, Risk Manager and so on. The salaries of the mentioned positions are higher than other IT fields which is why to get hired for these kinds of jobs means exerting your best efforts to stand out because it is a very competitive field.

To help you get hired for these jobs, you first need to know and research as much as you can about IT security. You need to brush up your knowledge on topics like information protection, information assurance, data integrity and confidentiality, penetration, in-depth defense and other related matters. You should also read up on how to acquire personal certifications as these can boost your chances of getting hired.

Also, having certifications is a stepping stone towards acquiring more certifications, thereby giving you more opportunities for career growth and promotions. Testing for entry-level certifications are usually available everywhere and can cost around $200-$400 and is a great investment to make towards your career-building goals.

To further your education, you can also try setting up your own security labs with an old computer, some wireless routers and free open source security tools. Just make sure you do it on your own time and not with your employer’s network as you can get fired if you accidentally screw something up.

And lastly, make sure you volunteer or get internships because there’s just no substitute for good old experience. If you’re still in college, find a professor who specializes in IT security and offer to be their apprentice by doing jobs that no one likes to do such as reviewing web server audit logs for intrusions for example. Try to apply for internships as well at companies because you can also get hired that way, especially when you perform well during your training.

IT Security Challenges That May Lead to Security Flaws

Have you ever seen a friend, cousin or a family member bearing financial losses as a result of a poor security policy? Are you afraid of the rising cyber crime rates and wish that you should never experience it? If yes, then read the article to know about the common cybercrime threats that the IT sector faces in 2015.

Many of you might have faced the ill effects of the poor IT security management, but you compromise with the situation by believing it to be in your destiny. Market research firms and IT experts claim that the year 2015 will see the cybercrime associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), social security details, financial information and many others. Experts state that the IOT attacks on businesses and the ever-rising computer hacking cases will shock the virtual users with plenty of new frauds, attacks and malicious software. Websense Security Labs predicts that the malware authors are working stringently to create some smart viruses that can escape from the AV detection tests and give rise to cyber bullying activities. The DDoS Attack Report for Q2 2014 by Prolexic Quarterly Global focuses on improving DDoS protection and enhancing multi-layered web security, meaning that 2015 will experience devastating cyber-attacks. Some major Information Technology companies also ensured that their AV products will carry some advanced features as the cyber crime doesn’t limit to financial losses.

5 Common IT Security Challenges You Might Face in 2015

1. Healthcare Sector

Tech experts state that the healthcare sector may experience an increase in data-stealing attacks as hackers are paying attention towards the personally identifiable information to commence major frauds. Physical information, health care details, and medical history will help malware authors to manage a huge web of attacks and give rise to various types of fraud. A hospital computer has a database of millions of patient records in a digital form, so managing and protecting the patient’s personal data will be a major challenge for healthcare IT professionals.

2. Mobile Threats

Since mobile devices are entering into the market at a rapid rate, managing their security and privacy has become a great challenge for security professionals. Malware authors design malicious codes that target credential information rather than collecting the stored data on the device. The auto-login feature of mobile apps makes the portable platforms highly dangerous as mobile devices now give rise to broader credential-stealing or authentication attacks and cyber bullying practices.

3. Attacks Associated to the Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the future of computing, and the platform will allow things, humans, appliances, animals and other things communicate with each other over a local network. The connectivity amongst the devices can enhance the speed, efficiency and performance of everything, but the closely connected network can invite some major security flaws, affecting everything connected over a local network. The Internet of things expects to focus on businesses, not on consumer products, and rising cyber crime rates can also impact the new internet-connected device in a business environment. A majority of products and applications can give rise to the business attacks as attackers are likely to attempt establishing a control over all the simple connected devices.

4. Credit Card and Information Deals

Cybercrime and financial information have a strong bond as many malware authors create malicious codes just to fetch your financial information and use them for fraudulent purposes. Some IT experts state that the credit card thieves will soon get morphed into information dealers as financial institutions have already adopted Chip and PIN technology to trim down financial crime rates. They further added that the cybercriminals will now look forward to collecting a broader range of data about victims, consisting of multiple credit cards, geographic location data, personal information, and interests.

5. New Vulnerabilities Will Soon Emerge

Every year comes with new inventions, discoveries and technologies to impact user’s experience and their work environment. Some technologies like fingerprint, UltraHD, wearables and others enhance user’s experience in a positive manner, while some source codes like OpenSSL, Heartbleed and Shellshock make users worried. Software development is growing at a rapid rate and so does the cyber crime. Malware authors, software developers, and hackers may come up with new features and integrations to impact the base code and exploit the vulnerabilities to steal away your private information.